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Court declares Barrie man a vexatious litigant

Darren Roskam instigated 18 separate lawsuits
The Barrie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo

A judge has declared a Barrie man a 'vexatious litigant' and ordered him to seek court permission before launching any more legal action. 

The ruling by Justice Chris de Sa states that since 2008, Darren Roskam has instigated 18 separate lawsuits in Barrie Small Claims Court and has been sued once himself.

Roskam has also launched 5 appeals of decisions unfavourable to him, the ruling says.

Roskam's court history includes three claims that remain before the court or in trial, one claim that was successful against the Applicant in 2008 and 7 claims that were dismissed with Roskam ordered to pay costs.

Another Barrie man, John Ironside, sought this order against Roskam.

"The record filed by the Applicant on this matter is substantial," the judge said in his 10-page decision released on Dec. 14, 2017.

It's the second time the courts have declared Roskam a vexatious litigant.

Justice Boswell granted an application in 2010, calling Roskam's behaviour "during the course of, and certainly after the Small Claims litigation with the Respondent has been, and continues to be appalling' and 'abusive and harassing in nature."

That order was limited to a year to provide Roskam a "cooling off period."

Justice de Sa stated that the record makes it clear that Roskam has "engaged in a pattern of abusive and vexatious conduct in the course of pursuing his lawsuits against the Applicant and others."

Some of the 'rude' and 'disparaging' emails to counsel and others include: 

"You are a joke. Garbage in a sport jacket. It looks like you let the monkey write the motion."

Another Roskam email stated: "What do you care, whore?" and "HOW THE F*** DO YOU LIKE ME NOW BITCH?"

Court heard Roskam also published attacks on his websites 'directed at harassing and disparaging the Applicant publicly."

In granting this latest order, the judge said 'Mr. Roskam may believe his behaviour is warranted. It is not.'

Justice de Sa noted in his ruling that one of the legal actions Roskam took against Ironside pertained to a video Ironside posted online and a mass email Ironside sent to 'literally hundreds of others' making allegations against Roskam.

"I have no doubt from reviewing the record and emails, videos and correspondence between the Applicant and Mr. Roskam, the proceedings instituted against the Applicant are directed at getting him back for a historical feud they seem to have with each other.  The claims appear to be part of a scorecard between the Applicant and the Respondent where they each try and record a victory of some sort against the other," wrote Justice de Sa.

"The problem with this type of behaviour is that the public is being forced to bear the costs of it."

Due to his financial circumstances, the court said Roskam has not been in a position to pay any of the filing fees for any of the court matters nor has he been able to pay any of the cost awards or damages ordered against him. 

Justice de Sa ruled that Roskam must first obtain leave in the Superior Court of Justice — submitted in writing — before any further legal actions can be filed.

Roskam ran for the Libertarian Party in the 2014 provincial election.

The judge declined to make an award for exemplary damages, ruling that  if Ironside "was not so implicated in provoking Mr. Roskam's behaviour the situation would be different."

Ironside and Roskam were ordered not to communicate with each other directly or indirectly and can't come within 200 feet of each other without the consent of the other.